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In what appeared like a plot to derail trains, close to 150 fastening clips were found missing from tracks in Mahanagar area of the city early on Sunday morning. The delayed movement of two trains averted a tragedy. Later, the two trains — Kaifiyat Express and Gorakhpur-LTT Express —were diverted.
This was the second attempt to sabotage rail operations UP this year. In January, a goods train had derailed near Unnao due to missing clips.
A railway patrolling team noticed the clips, used to stop railway tracks from moving vertically or horizontally, near Mahanagar railway crossing, missing around 4am after which train movement between Daliganj and Gomtinagar stations was stopped for three hours. Inspector general of ATS of UP police, Asim Arun, said, "The incident looks serious. Someone tried to sabotage the railway operation in the middle of the city. The crossing in the heart of the city witnesses movement of 60 trains daily. We have constituted three teams to probe the case."
The patrolling team which spotted the damaged tracks submitted a complaint and an FIR was lodged at the Mahanagar police station. Station house officer of the Mahanagar police station, Vikas Pandey, said, "A case has been registered against unknown persons under Section 150 of the Railways Act. It amounts to malicious attempt to wreck a train and a person can be imprisoned for life on conviction under the Section."
Saba Siddiqui, a resident of Sector A, Mahanagar, which is close to the railway tracks, claimed to have seen the suspects from a distance around 1.15am. "Sudden hammering noise disturbed my sleep. I went on the roof with a torch to check what was wrong. I found some people were hammering at the tracks. When we asked them, they said they were railway employees and maintenance work was on," Siddiqui told TOI.
Saba, a businesswoman, raised an alarm and woke up neighbours. They, however, didn't inform cops after the men left from the stretch along with their tools.
Later during a routine inspection, the railway patrolling team found the clips missing. The railway control was alerted and senior officials rushed to the spot.
Track repair affects train schedule
Over a dozen trains were delayed by several hours due to the ongoing repair work between Daliganjand Badshahnagar railway stations on Sunday. Officials at Charbagh railway station said the tracks between the two stations were being repaired, as a block from the track was missing, while other trains were late due to the fog. Some of the trains that arrived late were Amarnath Express (12 hours), Kashi Vishwanath Express (11hours), Panvel-Gorakhpur Express( eight hours), Anand Vihar-Malda town Express and Nauchandi Express (six hours) and Lokmanya Tilak-Gorakhpur super fast Express (five hours).
This article first appeared on timesofindia.indiatimes.com
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